Paul L. Snyder on 21 Nov 2016 09:40:12 -0800

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[PLUG] [plug-announce] Mon, Nov 21, 2016: "Secrets of the Dead: What Modern Programmers Can Learn from COBOL" by Walt Mankowski (7pm at ATS in Malvern)

The Philadelphia Area Linux Users Group (PLUG) cordially invites you
to a PLUG West meeting on Monday, November 21 at ATS in Malvern, PA
from 7-9 pm.

This month, PLUG West welcomes back Dr. Walt Mankowski, who will be
giving a talk entitled "Secrets of the Dead: What Modern Programmers
Can Learn from COBOL". Walt's description of the talk:
  COBOL is the Rodney Dangerfield of the programming world â?? it
  doesnâ??t get any respect. COBOL is routinely denigrated for its
  verbosity and dismissed as archaic, and for good reason: COBOL
  bears little to no resemblance to modern programming languages.
  Yet COBOL is far from a dead language. COBOL processes an
  estimated 85% of all business transactions, and 5 billion new
  lines of COBOL are written every year.

  I spent 10 years as a COBOL developer and saw first-hand the
  good and the bad of the language. Many of its criticisms are
  valid, and most PLUG attendees would probably be appalled at
  COBOLâ??s syntax. But as COBOL approaches its 7th decade of
  active use, itâ??s worth remembering that there are a few things
  that COBOL got spectacularly right, particularly in its primary
  niche in mainframe business programming. These include:

    * Separation of code, presentation, and operating environment
    * Datatypes to handle decimal currency amounts
    * Reading and writing fixed-length records

  And that appalling syntax is simple enough that even
  non-programmers can learn the basics in a few hours.

  Attendees will come away with old techniques they can apply to
  their new systems, and a new-found respect for their elders.

Interested in Linux, BSD, and Free Software? Whether you're already an
enthusiast or want to learn more, come and join us! PLUG meetings are
free and open to everyone, and anyone who is curious is invited to

The meeting will be at the ATS office in Malvern, PA:

  ATS Group & IBM Innovation Center
  1200 Atwater Drive, Suite 170
  Malvern, Pennsylvania 19355

For driving directions, please visit

For more information about PLUG, please visit our website at
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